Why Routines Need to Be Flexible

By Sleep Fairy Sarah Quick

We all know that routines give us a framework & structure but do they have to be set in stone?

I definitely flip from thinking, “Ooh, I need a routine” to, “Hey,  manyana”.  And so does my daughter. Some days she wants things just the way she expects them to be, sitting at the table to eat, me taking her to school and healthy breakfasts, and other days she wants a little more spontaneity.

Many of our little people like to know what’s coming next and what is expected of them: Bath follows tea, stories follow bath & teeth etc but what happens when we go out for something to eat or have friends over and the routine is broken?  I’ve known people, myself included years ago, lose the plot completely because “little person’s” tea was going to be late, so they’d be too tired for their bath, and they wouldn’t be able to stay awake long enough to feed properly… And so on.  But is it so important to stick to the plan like glue?

It really is personal choice but we at Sleep Fairy and Parent Rescue say NO!

Routine is important to establish good  habits & patterns of positive behaviour but every now and again a little flexibility is good for us and our children.  Children and babies need to learn how to manage when things don’t go to plan, whether that’s through something we decide to do differently or when things are taken out of our control.  The world offers no guarantees save one: The only thing that is constant is change.

As long as the norm is what happens most of the time, and a little age appropriate discussion and planning is conducted, some deviation from the routine is a good thing.  So go off and enjoy the early-autumn sunshine at 530pm on a Friday, go for a late breakfast on Saturday or stay an hour longer at the party on Sunday! Be a rebel and don’t bath them every night – give their skin a well-deserved treat of being a little grubby; it’s good for them.  Let your hair down a little more and enjoy your little ones!

For more practical advice and guidance on this issue and many others, especially with the clocks about to fall backwards give us a call at Sleep Fairy.and Parent Rescue – 07977 462252

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